January 24, 2009


Re: Opposition to Abortion


To His Holiness Benedictus XVI (Joseph Ratzinger):

Since you don't provide an email contact on your web page (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/index.htm), I am forced to use other avenues.

Your opposition to abortion represents an unfortunate instance of anthropocentrism. Man is a (VERY) latecomer to the Earth, and thus owes a great deal of deference to the multitude of species that preceded us (yea, gave rise to us!). To oppose abortion, and thus multiply the number of humans far out of proportion to the ability of the Earth to provide for us, is at the very least disrespectful to those species, and at worst a crime of colossal proportions.

Galileo corrected the Church's misplaced hubris regarding our planet. Darwin (whose 100th anniversary is being celebrated -- and I do mean CELEBRATED -- soon) did the same for its misplaced preference for mankind. I dare say that you have had plenty of time and eloquent arguments to correct your harmful bias toward one species -- one that is in no important way superior to any other.

I earnestly encourage you to study conservation biology as diligently as you do the anthropocentrically biased literature of our errant species.

Sincerely yours,

Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.